James Hunter began his career as a blue-eyed soul singer in the mid 1980's in his native England, using a stage name. He was Howlin' Wilf in the trio Howlin' Wilf & The Veejays. Van Morrison was a fan, and after The Veejays broke up, Hunter spent some time in Morrison's band before he started recording under his own name in 1996. For the past couple of albums, the records have been credited to The James Hunter Six as a way for Hunter to acknowledge the contributions of his long-time backing musicians. Hold On! is the first album for the band on Brooklyn's Daptone label. The label is a good fit for Hunter's approach to soul and R&B. Producer Gabriel Roth had the group record the songs (all original material) live in the studio. Not only that, but Roth and Hunter decided to produce the record in mono, lending an extra touch of retro-authenticity to the sextet's grooves.